War of words

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By TTIS extempore for schools at Dalhousie Institute RAJRUPA DAS
  • Published 16.11.11

War of Words, an inter-school extempore competition, was held at Dalhousie Institute in association with The Telegraph In Schools (TTIS) on Friday evening.

Organised by the newly formed literary committee or LitCom of DI, the event saw participation from a number of city schools, including La Martiniere for Boys, Calcutta Boys’ School, Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, St. James’ School, Our Lady Queen of the Missions School, Frank Anthony Public School, Don Bosco Park Circus and St. Thomas Boys’ School.

The chief guest for the evening was educationist John Mason, a former principal of La Martiniere for Boys, St. James as well as Doon School.

The young speakers drew lots to pick their topics and were given an hour to prepare. Speaking time was two minutes plus one. The topics ranged from the expected (“today’s politicians have no morals”; “World War III is on pollution”) to the innovative (“an angel told me I had three months to live”; “classrooms are no longer fun”) to the delightfully quirky (“at the stroke of midnight...”)!

The participants took the stage with confidence, a youthful swagger even, and impressed the three judges — Sam Valentine, academic manager, The British Council, and Ayesha Das, former head of the teachers’ training department, Loreto College, and a member of Team t2 — with their content as well as style of delivery.

Abhijoy Mitra of Calcutta International School, who spoke on “the cyber world is more dangerous than the real world”, won points and hearts by arguing eloquently that the web world was nothing but a re-creation of the real world itself. He bagged the first prize.

The first runner-up was Subham Agarwal of Mahadevi Birla Girls’ High School. Speaking on “there are no shortcuts to any place worth going”, the young lady made a mark by going personal and sharing with the audience an inspiring chat she had with her father.

Rajendrani Sarkar of Our Lady Queen of the Missions and Abhinandan Mondol of Frank Anthony Public School tied for the spot of second runners-up.

An innovative idea came from Anusha Banerjee of DPS New Town, whose topic was “at the stroke of midnight....” Anusha chose to tell a story, of an old militaryman who visits his grandfather’s spirit every midnight. The contestant lost points for her delivery, though.

After the event, Mason said that each one of the participants was a “good communicator, standing on the same ladder but on different rungs”. He advised them to speak on stage as if having a conversation with the audience, forgetting that they were participating.

Later, he told t2, “I was particularly pleased to see the standard of participation.”

Club president Barry ’Brien said this was the first extempore competition organised by the LitCom. “I am sure this and other literary activities will become a regular affair at this club,” said Barry.